An evening at Höst Copenhagen

Happy Monday everyone - let’s all for a second pretend that something like that actually exists! I confess: I don’t like Mondays. I’m a weekend person. And maybe Friday, because that’s almost weekend. But seriously - whoever decided that out of the seven days of the week, we should be working on five and relaxing on two - that was a BAD idea! What’s wrong with a 4-3 split? Much more manageable, if you ask me!

Oh, last weekend. You were glorious. You were three days long and full of good company, delicious food and wine, and relaxing. I already miss you. We had a great time together, didn’t we?

Starting out on Friday with a day off from work, which I pretty much exclusively spent in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Sans turkey, because this girl only has one oven. And probably wouldn’t really dare make a 12 pound bird anyways. Oh well. The main part of the weekend was then spent relaxing on the couch, recovering from the feast, watching series, maybe taking a little walk. But Sunday night, you were a highlight! And I shall turn all my attention to you now.

I was meeting a bunch of friends for dinner. I know this bunch from the wine tastings I frequently (maybe too frequently?) attend - that’s how you can tell they’re great people! We went to a place I had long had on my “must try” list - Höst. Part of the Cofoco restaurant group, they are an upscale, but affordable restaurant focusing on New Nordic cuisine. The entire place is styled through to the last roll of toilet paper, and they even have their own line of dinner ware (how beautiful is this?!). For some great pictures of the interior, see here.

As we were a larger group, we had to decide on the menu beforehand, and we chose “An evening at Höst”, which is a 3 course menu with an accompanying wine menu, coffee and petit fours, and water. Much to our delight, our very sweet waitress told us that, actually, there were a couple of surprises and we were actually going to end up with six courses. More food, you say? Count me in!

Now, I don’t want to lose many words on the menu or the wine, I’m not a food critic and would probably embarrass myself. I will say, though, that this was one of the best overall restaurant experiences I have had in Copenhagen. Everything is styled through to perfection, but without being artificial. It’s not the kind of perfect you’re afraid to touch. It’s the kind of perfect you wish you’d be able to recreate because it looks so easy (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to. Okay, I won’t be able to.)

Enough with the words. Dive right in and feast your eyes on these wonderful dishes!

Scallops with cucumber, buttermilk sauce and cracked wheat

Why are we not serving more food in shells?!

Muffins with caramelized onions

Hake with kohlrabi, dill and blue mussel sauce

Homemade sauce on crispy bread with field salad…

… accompanied by a mushroom soup. As a German, this is hurtful to admit, but this was one of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. Drinking warm soup through a straw is a bit weird, though.

Duck with purple kale, celeriac-puree and sauce based on roasted duck-skin, walnuts and pickled truffle 

A sort of caramel-y chocolate cream with a hint of liquorice (okay, I’ll forgive that), drizzled with sea buckthorn

Christmas-tea ice cream with meringue and cherry compote, with black tea on top

Finally, brewed coffee and this selection of petit fours, including marshmallows and caramel wafers

I’ll be going back here soon, that’s for sure, and I strongly recommend that you try it out, if you haven’t yet! Have a great start into your week!

Around Copenhagen: The Standard

Last fall, the old customs building at the front end of Nyhavn was finally filled with new life, after having been empty for at least as long as I’ve lived here. I’ve always really like the building, and thought it was quite a shame that it was just sitting there empty - and it seems that Claus Meyer, maybe the most famous Danish chef after Rene Redzepi from Noma and one of the founders of the “New Nordic Cuisine” movement, thought the same. That’s why, on October 3rd (German reunification day!), he opened not one, not two, but three restaurants and a jazz club in the bulding that’s now overlooking the harbor in a fresh mint color.

The Standard, as seen across the harbor

The Standard, as seen across the harbor


Inside, there are three different restaurants (for more information check out this page):

Almanak - This restaurant is described as serving food that our (Danish) grandparents would have made, had they known what we know today. It’s basically a classic “New Nordic” restaurant, with focus on local and seasonal ingredients.

Verandah - Described as “the first contemporary gastronomic Indian restaurant in this region”, this place offers high-end Indian cuisine and cocktails.

Studio - The head chef comes straight from world-famous Noma, and wants to broaden horizons, in terms of taste, but also in terms of produce from other regions and some fusion cuisine.

The Standard, seen from the harbor promenade

The Standard, seen from the harbor promenade, with the opera house in the background


Further, the building hosts an exclusive Jazz Club, simply called “The Standard Copenhagen”. The master mind behind this is Niels Lan Doky, a famous Danish jazz pianist with connections to the jazz scene all across the world. With its only 68 seats, the aim clearly is a very cozy and familiar atmosphere. The corner cocktail bar serves a small, but beautiful selection of cocktails.

About a week after its opening, we decided to try out The Standard by buying a “Dinner and Jazz” ticket, which entitles you to a three course dinner plus admission to the jazz show afterwards. We chose Almanak as the place to eat, and were not disappointed!

Our starter was a Danish fall classic: “jordskokkesuppe” (Jerusalem artichoke soup), with hazelnuts, fresh and dried apples, and a herb oil. On the side, we got freshly baked bread - a beautiful combination.

Starter: Jerusalem artichoke soup

Starter: Jerusalem artichoke soup


The main course was chicken - before I moved here, I hardly ever got served chicken in a “high end” restaurant, it seems to be too common or beneath most “fine dining” chefs. But I’ve had it twice in really good restaurants in Copenhagen, and both times, it was amazing (the Viking boyfriend to this day says that the chicken breast with rhubarb and sweet corn at Oliver And The Black Circus was the best dish he’s ever eaten at a restaurant - but that restaurant deserves its own post). This chicken breast came with roasted and pureed carrots and fresh herbs, and it was simply delicious!

Main: Chicken breast and carrots


Aaah, dessert. I’m a dessert person. No matter how full I am after the starters and mains, I will always - ALWAYS - have room for dessert. The day that I refuse dessert is the day hell freezes over. And what a beautiful one this one was! A twist on THE Danish classic: “rødgrød med fløde” (red fruit pudding, similar to jam, with cream). Instead of the classic berries that are normally used for the grød, this one was based on plums for a more seasonal element. The dessert also included some meringues, a scoop of home-made ice cream, some nut crunch and flowers… I could eat this every day!


Dessert: Rødgrød med fløde


After dinner, we headed up to the Jazz Club to see the world premier of the “Oscar Peterson Legacy Quartet” (the complete concert can be viewed here). I have to say that I am far from being an expert on jazz, but I did take a liking to it when I was in New Orleans (how could I not?!). I couldn’t give you a professional review of the band members, I’ll leave that to the journalists. But for me, music is great when it moves you. And by those standards, this quartet performed masterfully. Especially one song really brought tears to my eyes, and I’ve listened to it many times since.

The Standard jazz club

The Standard jazz club

The club itself is, as described above, cozy with a thick carpet and big red velvet curtains. You feel moved back into a “Mad Men” era, as you’re sipping your cocktail (I highly recommend the green one with gin, although I can’t remember the name - it is amazing!) in the plush chairs.

Oscar Peterson was one of the great jazz pianists of the last century. He died in 2007, but his music is still played by many jazz bands around the world, such as this quartet. It consisted of Niels Lan Doky (the man behind the club) on the piano, Ulf Wakenius (guitar), Dave Young (bass) and Alvin Queen (drums). Many, if not all, of the members of this quartet have played with Oscar Peterson himself. The set was a mix of “best ofs” as well as some personal favorites of Lan Doky, which might be less famous. The piece that brought me to tears is called “Hymn to Freedom”, and I’m sharing the best version I could find on YouTube below:

All in all, it was a great evening with delicious food and a beautiful concert, and I can’t wait to try out the other two restaurants as well!